One pitch hung in John Lannan's mind.
Ivan Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning and the Washington Nationals came back to beat the New York Mets 7-3 Sunday.
The Nationals lost their third baseman before the game, with Ryan Zimmerman out of the lineup due to an abdominal strain, and they needed to replace their first baseman when Adam LaRoche pulled up at second base with a tweaked left groin.
In the box score, the Nationals beat the Marlins Thursday night on a two-run home run by Adam LaRoche -- a ball that sailed into the right field seats at Sun Life Stadium in the top of the 11th inning to bring home Ryan Zimmerman and give Washington its second win of the 2011 season.
For two straight games, the Nationals have stood at their lockers after losses and pledged that the next game would be better.
Watching Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche dive to his right to stab ground balls, run the bases aggressively and take his hacks at the plate Tuesday night, you'd never know he was the same guy who later walked through the visiting clubhouse at Sun Life Stadium with his left shoulder encased in ice, or the one wincing as he dressed after the Nationals' loss.
Tim Hudson pitched seven solid innings in another strong start against Washington and Brian McCann had four RBIs in the Atlanta Braves' 11-2 victory over the Nationals on Sunday.
Some baseball openers don't reveal much of anything about the season ahead. Others, however, offer a clue or two. So it was with the Nationals' 2-0 loss to the Braves on Thursday down on South Capitol Street. It just seemed like the kind of game the Nats will be playing all season in the pitching-rich National League East: a low-scoring, error-free affair that turns on a pitch here and an at-bat there.